Manila: Malaysia is not planning to turn over an alleged scam artist wanted by the Philippine government for swindling thousands of victims in Visayas and Mindanao, a report reaching Manila said.
An article published in Malaysia’s The Star Online on Saturday, said government officials are averse to the idea of turning over Manuel Karingal Amalilio to Philippine authorities so that he can be put on trial for defrauding some 15,000 victims in an investment pyramiding scheme.
The Philippines government wants Amalilio, who goes by the name Mohammad Kamal Sa’ad in Malaysia, to give justice to the thousands of Filipinos he had defrauded.
The Star quoted Malaysia’s Attorney -eneral Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patali as saying that the Philippines Embassy had requested the handing over of Amalilio to Filipino authorities on the basis of a 2002 agreement between members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Malaysia and the Philippines are both key members of the Asean.
But Gani, according to the report, said there is no basis for Malaysia to extradite Amalilio because “he was a Malaysian citizen holding a valid and active identification card”.
Earlier, Filipino lawmaker Senator Francis Escudero expressed concern that a case involving a cross-border swindler would set a precedent for other copycat scam acts in nearby countries if his scam goes unpunished in Philippine courts.
“My main worry is that Amalilio’s con job wouldn’t be the last in the country,” Senator Francis Escudero said as he called for the immediate repatriation of Amalilio from Malaysia where the latter had been sentenced to serve two years in prison for committing immigration offences.
Amalilio he was arrested at Kota Kinabalu Airport in Malaysia’s Sabah state on January 25. He was sentenced to two years in prison by a Malaysian court for committing an immigration offence.
Amalilio had been hiding from authorities in the Philippines where he is wanted for fraud involving an estimated 12 billion peso (Dh1.08 billion) which he allegedly took from investors in his firm, Aman Futures which is supposedly engaged in a pyramiding scam.
Escudero said the government should immediately seek the transfer of Amalilo so that he can be tried in Philippine courts.
According to reports, Amalilio has blood links with members of Malaysian royalty in Sabah.